You were probably very excited when you finally got a chance to set up your home workshop. That is, until the summer rolled around, and you realized that it was too hot to work in there. So how can you keep your workshop cool in the summer?
Here are some good tips to help you keep your workshop cool enough to spend time in during the hot summer months.
Most home workshops are adapted spaces. If you’re lucky, it’s in a spare bedroom, but more often it’s in a garage, a shed, a barn, or another area with thin walls that are not good at keeping heat out (or in, for that matter). So, if you want to keep your workshop more comfortable year-round, the best thing you can do is add insulation.
It’s a relatively cheap and easy fix, too. Even now, insulation costs anywhere from $0.50 to $1.00 a square foot depending on the style, and you can put insulation in with just a morning’s or an afternoon’s work.
Another way to keep your home workshop cool is to keep it from picking up too much heat from the sun. Ideally, you would have a shade tree or two to keep your workshop from getting sun for most of the day. However, that’s not something you can easily add. Maybe plant the trees now, but work on a more immediate solution.
An easy way to keep sun off your workshop is with a good awning. The awning will block the direct sun from coming in, but will still let in enough ambient light to let you work with just task lighting most days. Awnings over windows have another benefit, too: they make it easier to open your window during a cooling thunderstorm. A fan can help you move cool air in at this time.
An even simpler way to reduce the heat your workshop picks up from the sun is a nice coat of white paint. If you have dark-colored walls on your home workshop, you’ll notice the difference, but it might take a few coats to get full advantage.
If you’re in a place that cools off overnight, consider getting up early to work in your shop. Get up around sunrise, and you might be able to get in a few hours before it gets too hot to work.
A fan can help draw in cool air at this time to help your workshop stay cooler longer. Just remember to shut it off before it gets too hot outside – otherwise, you’ll be heating your workshop, not cooling it!
These strategies can help you keep your workshop from getting too hot when you’re there, but none of them actually cool your workshop down. If you want to be able to spend all day in your workshop, doing some serious projects and running power tools or an engine, you need something that actually cools.
If you are looking for a portable air cooler for your home workshop, you have two main options. A small air conditioner or a home workshop evaporative cooler.
An air conditioner works if you have a small workshop that is well-insulated and can keep all your windows closed. Even in this setup, you should be aware that an A/C unit is energy intensive and produces a lot of heat. Not all portable A/C units are good at getting rid of that heat, which can make them even more inefficient.
A home workshop evaporative cooler, though, works well for larger workshops. It can cool larger spaces much more efficiently. Not only that, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have good seals on your workshop walls, or if you have to maintain ventilation because of exhaust or fumes. An evaporative cooler depends on access to fresh air, so with it you can keep your space ventilated as well as cooled. Plus, it is highly efficient, using ¼ the energy of an A/C unit.
You don’t need to worry that an evaporative cooler will lead to rust or other problems from water. They are safely used in professional garages and metal shops around the country, with no negative effects.
If you are looking for a quality evaporative cooler, choose Portacool. Made in the USA since 1990, these industry-leading evaporative coolers are ideal for your home workshop. Keep your workshop fully cooled all day for about $1.
With best-in-class warranties and customer service, you can also count on your Portacool to keep your workshop cool for years to come. That makes them a great investment in making your workshop a better place to spend your summer.